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First Solar Goes Big in SoCal

ROSEMEAD, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- While people are still talking about (or, at Barron's, left wondering about) First Solar's (FSLR - Get Report) recent second-quarter earnings beat, the company just keeps chugging along. And today was no different.

Already known as one of the biggest players in the solar sector, First Solar is making further inroads into the country's largest populous: California.

Today, First Solar -- known for making thin-film photovoltaic modules -- and Southern California Edison (SCE) announced a deal to build two enormous solar power stations in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Calling them "among the largest of their kind," a press release announcing the agreement said that together the installations could have 550 megawatt capacity, or about as much to power 170,000 homes.

The Riverside project, called Desert Sunlight, is scheduled to begin construction in 2012, while the San Bernardino operation, called Stateline, will start construction in 2013, barring any regulatory or other hiccups. Completion of both projects is expected in 2015.

Shares of First Solar gained 34 cents, or 0.3%, at $134.80 this morning.

Elsewhere, American Depositary Shares for Trina Solar were rising 2% following Trina Solar's bump in second-quarter earnings , announced yesterday afternoon.

Yingli Energy (YGE), JA Solar (JASO - Get Report), ReneSola (SOL - Get Report), SunPower (SPWRA) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ - Get Report) were each gaining at 2.6%, 3.1%, 1.2%, 1.3% and 4.1%, respectively, this morning.

But Solarfun (SOLF) was hanging in negative territory after the company posted a GAAP loss turned profit after excluding items. ADS's were down 36 cents, or 5.8%, at $5.96.

-- Reported by Sung Moss in New York
Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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